From The ADTRWiki
This is the ADTRW FAQ, version 3.0.
If you have any additions, feel free to edit them in due to wonderful Wiki technology.
What is ADTRW?
ADTRW stands for Anime Death Tentacle Rape Whorehouse, and is the anime subforum at the Something Awful Forums. Lowtax came up with the name when he created the forum to keep the anime crazies out of GBS. As a result, ADTRW has the honor (?) of being one of the first subforums on Something Awful.
What? I don't want to pay 10 bucks to read ADTRW!
Well, occasionally it's publically viewable (with ads to pay for bandwith), but you need to register to post. And you should. Full access Something Awful forums are completely worth it and pay for themselves essentially in pure value.
Who currently moderates ADTRW?
Zorak. See his forums profile for contact information. If you have any questions about the forum or anything else that is not covered in this FAQ, please feel free to contact him!
Why is ADTRW referred to only by its acronym?
It gave Something Awful some issues with being parsed by Google.
What's the history of this FAQ?
It started out as a forum thread. At some point, ricequeen HTMLized it and put it on his webspace while he was moderator. He stopped maintaining the FAQ and through the magic of archive.org, hannibal moved it to Raspberry Heaven. In the year 2009, the FAQ was moved to the ADTRWiki. It's been sporadically maintained since.
What are some good shows to watch?
We've compiled a few helpful listings for people looking for very general anime recommendations: The New to Anime Guide and the Top 10 Anime by Year will probably be useful to you. Among the most popular shows on ADTRW are Cowboy Bebop, Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Ghost in the Shell, along with things like FLCL, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, and Haibane Renmei. Most of these are readily available on DVD and your anime watching friends will probably have some you can watch.
The original purpose of the ADTRWiki was to build an information base of shows that visitors of ADTRW enjoy. Shows are separated by genre and type, and there are usually links on the individual pages to other shows that are similar. Use the navigation links to the left to get started.
Shows discussed on these forums are typically easily available via BitTorrent, IRC, legal streaming, Amazon (or other internet retailer), or by actually leaving your parents' basement and going to a store that sells DVDs. Distribution methods are discussed later in this FAQ.
What is an OVA or OAV?
A fancy way of saying direct-to-video release. OVA means Original Video Animation and OAV means Original Animated Video. Sometimes it's a completely new show and concept. Sometimes an OVA is a supplement to an existing show. It could be a sequel, a prequel, a side story, or the same show in a completely alternate universe. It really is different per show; the fact that a show is an OVA doesn't really tell us anything, except that it can get away with stuff that would normally be censored on broadcast television, or could be in a format that would make it unable to fit normally in the standard television broadcast format.
These days, OVAs are typically also broadcast on satellite or TV channels, where they may or may not have heavy censorship to encourage buying the DVD. Especially up-to-date studios have started using web streaming (such as on Youtube).
Where can I buy anime DVDs or Blu-rays?
Where can I order DVDs, CDs, or other merchandise from Japan?
http://www.cdjapan.co.jp has a good list of new albums and DVDs. http://www.jlist.com specializes more in the porn end of merchandise, but they sell some oddball items too. http://www.amazon.co.jp offers a nice discount on import DVDs, but they charge a flat $20 for shipping.
Where can I buy manga? (Comics)
For domestic releases, you can buy manga at popular retail chains like Barnes & Nobles and Borders. You can also order online from Amazon, AnimeNation and many others. Some manga you can also legally read online; check Wikipedia to see who the publisher is of a manga you're interested in, then check their website to see if they have an application.
There are several choices for importing Japanese language media from Japan.
BK1 has cheap international shipping via EMS, as well as other faster and more expensive options, and will ship to any part of the world. However, their website is only available in Japanese. Their stock is updated frequently and their website works well, if you can read it. Highly recommended.
Kinokuniya has a mostly English website and ships to the US and parts of Asia.
Amazon JP has the usual Amazon interface and a competent English translation. Unfortunately, their shipping prices are outrageous; something on the order of $35 to ship a single book. Avoid unless you can't get your book elsewhere.
How can I buy stuff off Yahoo Auctions Japan?
A number of deputy services have popped up that will order practically anything for you (for a fee of course) in case a store won't ship internationally. Examples include Akadot, M-World Service, Rinkya and Shopping Mall Japan.
Where can I find out the latest anime news?
http://www.animeondvd.com is good for R1 DVD news, though their reviews aren't very good. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com is basically the same thing but more diverse. http://www.manganews.net is a new site that keeps track of scanslations. http://www.tokyotosho.com and http://www.animesuki.com both keep track of anime bit torrents.
Where can I find out about shows being currently broadcast in Japan?
There is pretty much always a "season" thread in ADTRW, on the first page due to bumping, that describes what is being broadcast in either the current season or the upcoming season, typically titled "Winter 2009" or somesuch. The premiere Japanese site for anime news is Moon Phase. You can see who-is-subbing-what-series on a season to season basis at http://www.fansubwiki.com
What anime has aired on US television?
What is fanservice?
In its most common use, fan service refers to things like panty shots, upskirts, walking around in lingerie, shower scenes, hot spring scenes, bouncing breasts, breast gropings, and so on. It is never explicit and is just a way for a show's creators to add mild sexual content to a show. It is also known as adding anything unnecessary to a scene in order to please fans, whether it be a reference or a giant robot fight.
What are those tear drops that show up beside a character's head?
These can have a variety of meanings depending on context. But in general, think of it as the character breaking out in a cold sweat. They are suddenly nervous, or in a bizarre, undesireable situation. These usually occur in comedic situations. Once you see enough shows, you'll come to understand when and why they appear.
Japanese Culture and Language
What is manga?
Japanese comics. A person who writes manga is called a mangaka.
What is doujinshi?
Independent and/or fan-made Japanese comics. The term is often used in the term "hentai doujinshi", which are pornographic fan made Japanese comics. This isn't always true or accurate, though, as "doujin" is the word for any group of creative friends - the overwhelming majority of manga writers (hell, of writers, anywhere) start out in doujin circles, sharing ideas with one another and creating works of varying artistic merit. Doujinshi can be 10 page parodies of Asuka getting raped by George Bush, or they can be 20 volume works full of tender emotion and lengthy stretches without any explicit content at all, rivaling the quality of "professional" works.
What is otaku?
Usually it refers to anime nerds, although you can also have military otaku, sports otaku, etc. In that sense it might better be translated as "fanatic" or "maniac".
In Japan, otaku is typically not a compliment. The common stereotype of the otaku is someone who doesn't bathe, lacks social skills, lives in their parents' basement, has never dated a girl, and fantasizes about having sex with cartoon characters. Even in anime, "otaku" is often used as an insult.
Western anime fans have taken up the term to mean any generic anime fan. If you want to be
elitist and snobby accurate and practical, you can make fun of them and tell them being an otaku is nothing to be proud of in Japan. That will earn you lots of ADTRW cred.
If you're interested in the etymology of the word, try visiting http://www.otakuunite.com/politicsofotaku.html. Pulled from that site: "We should first note the etymology of 'otaku' (courtesy of Volker Grassmuck in his seminal otaku-studies article 'I'm alone, but not lonely': Japanese Otaku-Kids colonize the Realm of Information and Media, A Tale of Sex and Crime from a faraway Place). Literally and originally, it means 'your house', and more generally it is also a very polite (distancing and non-imposing as opposed to familiar) way of saying 'you'...In 1983, the first published report appeared on the usage of 'otaku' amongst fans. Akio Nakamori wrote a series of articles called 'Otaku no Kenkyu' (Studies of Otaku) in Manga Burikko. He called those hard core fans who called each other 'otaku' the 'otaku-zoku' ('zoku' meaning tribe). His was perhaps the first article stereotyping otaku as being anti-social, unkempt, and unpopular..."
So how did otaku get stigmatized so much in Japan? Well, from the same site... "The 'otaku panic', as described by Sharon Kinsella, didn't really occur until after the infamous Tsutomu Miyazaki incident in 1989. Miyazaki (who was 26, and in no way to be confused with legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki [emphasis mine]) kidnapped and murdered 4 little girls. When he was arrested, the police found a huge collection of various anime and manga, some of it pornographic, in his apartment."
So there you have it. Use the word otaku all you want, but you should be conscious of what it really implies in Japan. Also, be prepared to be laughed at in ADTRW for being a japanophile moron.
What is hentai?
The common understanding of the word hentai in America/Europe/Australia is explicit anime pornography. It is a catch-all term used to describe everything from tentacle rape to erotic doujinshi to erotic anime, and anything else considered sexually perverse. Note that Japan uses this word exclusively to describe people, and any other use may be inaccurate or offensive.
What is ecchi?
Common usage: ecchi is like a mild version of hentai. It is rarely explicit and can translate into something like dirty. Like hentai, it can also mean pervert.
What is ero?
Ero is the Japanese word for pornographic; it is what is actually used where most English-speakers use hentai. Eroge for example refers to games with mainly sexual content.
What is moe?
Moe (萌え, Moe? /mo.e/, pronounced "mo-eh" literally "budding", as with a plant) is a Japanese word originally referring to fetish or love for characters in video games or anime and manga. For example, 眼鏡っ娘萌え, meganekko-moe, "glasses-girl moe", describes a person who is attracted to fictional characters with eyeglasses. With the decline of toy sales, which funded modern ADTRW's favorite anime genre (nonsensical stories with robots shouting at each other), anime studios have started producing large numbers of forgettable shows based on characters (usually young, possibly retarded, girls) with stereotypical personalities exhibiting certain kinds of moe, in order to appeal to the large Japanese population of people with lots of spending money and no real friends.
It is terrible.
What is yaoi?
Yaoi (やおい)[nb 1] is a popular term for fictional media that focuses on homosexual male relationships, yet is generally created by and for females. Originally referring to a specific type of dōjinshi (self-published works) parody of mainstream anime and manga works, yaoi came to be used as a generic term for female-oriented manga, anime, dating sims, novels and dōjinshi featuring homosexual male relationships.
What is yuri?
Take the above, replace "male" with "female" and "female" with "male".
What are honorifics (san, chan, kun, etc)?
I could fill an entire book discussing honorifics but for anime purposes there are only a few you need to be familiar with. An honorific is something attached to a name or a person to denote a level of respect (or lack thereof).
-sama is about the highest you'll hear in anime. It denotes great respect; it's something you'd use for emperors, the president of a company or school, or on a smaller scale, a master or elder of a family. You might translate Shishio-sama as Lord Shishio.
-san is a general term of politeness, roughly equivalent to Mister or Miss in English. Tanaka-san wold be Mister Tanaka.
-sensei means teacher or doctor.
-sempai usually refers to upperclassmen or the president of a school club. A role model or leader of sorts.
-kun is what you would use with a classmate, or with a younger person you don't know well, or a male close to your age.
-chan is very intimate. Two close (usually young) friends may use the -chan suffix with each other. To indicate an even closer relationship, the -chan is dropped entirely and no suffix is used at all.
-dono shows up sometimes. It's like an antiquated version of -sama and isn't heard much anymore. In terms of level of respect, I'm going to say it hovers between -sama and -san, depending on context.
How do I pronounce anime?
You can pronounce anime however you want, but since it's a loan word of the English "Animation" it's commonly accepted to prounounce it like animation minus the "-tion." It's pronounced with different vowel sounds in Japanese, but that's simply due to the restrictions of their syllables.
How do I pronounce manga?
With a long 'a'. If you want to hear how not to say it, listen to anything from Manga Entertainment.
I want to learn Japanese. How do I start?
Your best bet is taking actual classes. Look for a community college that offers some. Once you get a good foundation, live in Japan for a year or two. Change your name to Otaking and star in some obscure Gainax flick about anime fans.
If you don't have access to classes, your second best bet is ordering a big hulking textbook like Nakama and combining it with a tape/CD program like Pimsleur. Watching lots of anime can help with basic pronunciation but try not to go around exclaiming "DOKI DOKI! ANTA BAKA?" to every vaguely Asian person you meet.
What are bootlegs?
Bootlegs are illegal copies of an original manufacturer's product. This can include DVDs, CDs, art books, manga, almost anything.
Why should I care?
There is no quality assurance with bootlegs. You may get a high quality knock off of the official DVDs. More likely however, you will get crappy video quality with Engrish subtitles that make virtually no sense. Buying a bootleg is a gamble and most times you'd be better off saving for the official release.
And there's a moral issue. If you enjoy a work and wish to support the creators, you should not hand your money to shady criminals who care little about the work and are only interested in profiting off the efforts of others. When you buy a bootleg, rest assured that none of your money ever benefits the creators.
When are bootlegs justified?
Sometimes a show just never makes it here and there's little hope that it ever will. Even getting the original R2 DVDs may be impossible since they are out of print. In such cases, you may have little option other than to buy bootlegs.
How can I identify bootleg DVDs?
There are several warning signs that should tip you off.
- The DVD is Region 0
- This means that this DVD will play regardless of what region your DVD player is set to. Very, very few legitimate DVDs are Region 0. They will most likely be Region 1 (North America), Region 2 (Europe and Japan), or Region 3 (South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, etc.) Visit http://www.animeondvd.com/reviews/index.php for a better idea of how regions work.
- The DVD has Chinese and English subtitles
- Very few legitimate DVDs have Chinese subtitles. Think about it. If a DVD is being released in the US, why would it need Chinese subtitles?
- A very high episode count
- Bootlegs usually cram as many as 8 or 9 episodes a disc, which will obviously degrade visual quality. This means a 26 episode series can be fit on 3 discs. Most legitimate DVDs will be far more spread out, anywhere from 3 to 5 episodes a disc. One exception to this are older shows which have lower visual quality to begin with, so many companies won't mind sticking as many as 12 episodes a disc sometimes. An example would be Pioneer's DVD release of Pretty Sammy.
- It's disgustingly cheap
- If it's too good to be true, it is. If a retailer bought a DVD box set for $300, they should be extremely reluctant to sell it for $50. Such huge markdowns are signs that you are not getting what you're paying for.
- No copyright information
- This one is a bit harder, but bootlegs offer no legitimate contact information or physical address beyond maybe a hotmail address.
- It was made by a known bootlegger
- Companies like Anime Cartoon, Manga International, Animation Japan International, FX, Indian International, and Anime International are known bootleggers and are not likely selling legitimate versions.
- You're buying from Ebay
- Ebay is filled with bootlegs and often it's impossible to discern the genuine from the fake. Be extremely wary when shopping on auction sites like this. Despite the illegal nature of bootlegs, Ebay does nothing to delist bootleg auctioneers.
- It's not licensed
- http://www.animeondvd.com/licenselist/ maintains a fairly well updated list of what shows have been licensed, and who is distributing them. If a show isn't even licensed, you can rest assured you're buying a bootleg.
- It's actually a VCD
- No anime comes out on VCD nowadays. VCDs will almost always have horrific quality as well, worse than VHS even.
- Realize there are exceptions
- There are legitimate Region 2 DVDs that are encoded for Region 0. Some companies offer bargains for DVDs, such as the entire Nadesico box set now only going for around $70. Don't take these guidelines as law.
- When in doubt, ask the forums
- Because it's better to look stupid with $50 in your pocket than to look stupid without $50 in your pocket.
How can I identify bootleg CDs?
Most all bootleg CDs are manufactured by Son May (SM) or Ever Anime. Same rules for spotting bootleg DVDs apply however: no copyright information, unusually low price, Chinese rather than Japanese (look for hiragana/katakana).
Where can I find more information?
http://www.digital.anime.org.uk/piratefaq.html has some good information.
What is IRC?
Internet Relay Chat. It's like one huge network of networks of chatrooms. http://www.mirc.com/ircintro.html has a good introduction, and mirc is a decent client if you're using Windows. It's a good way to get all the latest releases from fansubbing groups, after you check the proper ADTRW threads of course. Once you get into a chatroom most people will explain things to you. If you're at all computer literate, you'll figure out how to use DCC and XDCC very quickly.
What are some of the big name IRC networks and channels?
Rizon (irc.rizon.net) has most of the major current fansubbing groups. IRC Highway (irc.irchighway.net) has many scanlation groups, as well as #lurk, which has archives of manga chapters. Most of the unofficial Something Awful irc channels can be found on irc.synirc.org. ADTRW has its own very unofficial IRC channel #gattai on synIRC.
What is BitTorrent?
BitTorrent is a Peer-to-Peer Filesharing program created by Bram Cohen. It is a protocol for distributing files. It identifies content by url and is designed to integrate seamlessly with the web. Its advantage over plain http is that when multiple downloads of the same file happen concurrently, the downloaders upload to each other, making it possible for the file source to support very large numbers of downloaders with only a modest increase in its load.
How can I use BitTorrent to download anime?
The Wikipedia listing of BitTorrent clients is a good place to start. Then head on over to http://www.tokyotosho.info/, http://www.animesuki.com, or http://www.bakabt.me and download away. You may want to download a different Bit Torrent client instead, beyond the basic one, due to them often having advanced features that make torrenting faster and easier. Utorrent is quite good, for instance!
I have more questions about BitTorrent...
Fully explaining Bit Torrent is beyond the scope of this FAQ. Consult the wonderful FAQ over at Animesuki for more help.
That link can probably do a better job describing Usenet than this FAQ, but the short version is that Usenet is both comprehensive in content available and fast as heck. Very likely faster than any of the above methods. A good indexer will find episodes years old and can get you your content in minutes. The downside is money, as no packages are free. Unless you envision yourself as someone who will download 250 GB a month you will probably prefer the packages that give you a static amount of GB that don't expire. For example, Astraweb's $50 1000 GB package could last you years.
Legally Streaming Anime
What is Legal Streaming?
Releases for anime outside of Japan have begun to diverge from trying to sell DVDs into legal streaming services available on the internet, and controlled by region. These services may have free streaming in addition to paid streaming, with the latter providing access to more episodes or faster access to simulcast episodes.
Unlike the traditional fansub approach, streaming does not require the install of complicated codecs and media players. It also avoids the trappings of capricious fansub groups, unreliable torrent trackers, and copyright issues. However, if you live in a region that isn't supported by a particular streaming service, you may have to rely on fansubs anyways.
A legal stream for a particular show may appear across multiple services, depending on licensing, so it would be best to evaluate multiple services if you are planning to pay for a streaming provider.
Popular Legal Streaming Sources
Crunchyroll was one of the first to offer a wide range of legal streams, and still have a wide selection. Has simulcasts for numerous shows every season, although a paid subscription is required to avoid a week delay.
Hulu also has an excellent selection of titles. Interstitial ads and a smaller selection will greet those who aren't Hulu Plus subscribers.
Anime Network also allows streaming of some of the titles they possess, although watching titles dubbed will likely require a subscription.
Netflix is, of course, the preeminent streaming service for TV and movies. They have some series and movies available to stream.
Crackle is another big name streaming site that features a number of shows.
Other Legal Streaming Sources
Video/Fansub Playback & Technical Questions
This section was a few years out of date and may still need an update or two!
Combined Community Codec Pack
For Windows this is still the preferred and ADTRW-approved method of video playback. No matter what kind of file you throw at this, it should be able to play it and play it well. It is a collection of codecs, filters, patches, and tools that have been in development and maintained by various individuals and fansub groups for over 7 years. It is relatively lightweight and yet quite powerful given its array of options, giving end users plenty of customization that you will likely not need to deal with. Be careful not to have any other codec packs installed (Kawaii, the ancient Defiler Pack, any of CCCP's individual components) to ensure there are no conflicts. Comes in a simple installer with everything set up just about perfectly for you. The only element that you may want to fiddle around with a bit in this thing is the renderer in Media Player Classic (Options, Playback, Output, DirectShow Video). Haali Video Renderer is pretty solid, however you might also be interested in...
This is a separate install from CCCP and completely optional. Download the zip, extract it somewhere where MPC can find it (I usually dump it in the Filters folder in the CCCP installation directory), double-click on "install.bat", and you're done. Well, apart from selecting it as your renderer. Anyway, why check this out? It has a TON of options and is incredibly powerful with regards to its post-processing capabilities. For example, its upscalers are hugely impressive and can make fullscreen content look even nicer. Or you could employ its smooth motion options to eliminate screen judder. The upcoming release will have a de-banding filter to make older content with lots of blocking/banding look nicer as well.The important thing is that this is still in active development, where as most other renderers such as Haali's are not likely to see too many more updates. The catch is that it is a bigger strain on your computer, so don't go down this route if you think you're already borderline.
This is the opposite of a codec pack and is instead a self-contained player that doesn't need to reference external components and codecs. ADTRW has hated VLC for years, primarily because it had the worst possible soft subtitle support imaginable. It took a long time but this has been more or less fixed, but the bad will it incurred will probably never go away. At the very least VLC still lacks many of the performance/quality advantages found in CCCP.
What if I'm on one of those trendy Mac things?
Uninstall your Mac, get a PC, follow the steps above...
Just kidding. Though CCCP doesn't work with Macs, there are definitely alternatives. The first of these is Perian, a fairly simple Quicktime add-on not unlike CCCP, and you pretty much just install it like they say. The second is MplayerOSX Extended, which doesn't seem to be too complicated, and is updated fairly frequently. It's just a little more intensive than Perian. If you're not that technically inclined, head on over to this awful website for a guide with older kinds of MPlayer. With its shiny new subtitle support, maybe even little old VLC could work here.
8-bit vs. 10-bit
You will probably hear about this from time to time. These are the two main ways to encode h.264 content, with 10-bit being the higher end of the two. There's no need for a technical digest of the two here, but the long and short of it is that 10-bit can deliver higher quality video compared to an 8-bit equivalent of the same file size. The problem is that 10-bit content requires more CPU horsepower to decode, which leads us to...
Holy crap, I'm trying to play a high-def anime file and my computer is fucking choking, what is going on
This question will earn you about 10% more sympathy than the above VLC question. You'll get a little bit more because it is a problem that affects older computers and not everyone may realize what's going on at first.
For starters, CCCP comes set-up quite nicely these days to already optimize your experience so make sure you are at least using that. For 8-bit content you can help your computer out immensely if you enable DXVA, which is hardware acceleration. Basically you'll punt the brunt of the work off of the CPU and onto your video card. In CCCP this is controlled via LAV Video Settings's "Hardware Acceleration" section. You might want to research your computer's set-up a bit, but it's basically DXVA2 (copy-back) for ATI/AMD, CUVID for Nvidia, and QuickSync for Intel GPUs. You obviously need a decent video card to handle this but it's far more likely that with video decoding you are going to hit a wall with your CPU before your video card. You'll know it's working if you see [DXVA] in the status window in MPC-HC.
The big problem is that 10-bit content is not supported by any sort of DXVA at the moment. I'm sure it will eventually but right now if it's 10-bit it's a better CPU or the highway. That said unless you're viewing 1080p it shouldn't be too much of a bottleneck unless your machine is just that old.
What is a good program for viewing lots of images?
Irfanview is small, spartan, and free. http://www.acdsystems.com has more features but will cost you money. CDisplay is also popular. A more user-friendly and feature intensive version of the above is Faststone Image Viewer.
What are .rar, .r01, .ace, .a01, .001 files?
I'm missing the last five kilobytes of an episode. Can I watch it anyway?
DivFix++: The new cross-platform and improved version of DivFix does the same thing it used to. Be forewarned, however: Using this will not "fix" bad frames from the broken file, since you're probably retarded if you broke the damn thing in the first place. It doesn't work on MKV files, as well, so you're on your own there. Your last choice is to use VLC to run it if you can't do anything else, because it ignores all manner of common sense and safety and runs the broken files anyway. We're not responsible if you continue being retarded and break your computer though, considering that you have VLC still installed against our recommendation.